A Case for Job Interview Etiquette

Remaining tactful throughout the interview process can greatly increase your chances of landing a job. Jaideep Patel makes a case for common interview courtesies.
Jaideep Patel
Publisher, gradmalaysia.com

So you finally received that call for an interview you’ve been anticipating for a while now. You’re excited because it’s for a job you’re actually interested in. You think you have what it takes to be a good fit for the role. Plus, you’re confident that your work and study experience qualifies you for the position. No matter how prepared or confident you are, you should not overlook the importance of common courtesy during your job-hunting phase. If anything, having good courtesy will actually help you stand out from the other candidates lining up for a shot at that job you want! 

Timing is everything 

Before the interview can even start, you need to show up. Not too early, and definitely not late. Punctuality (as old-school as it may seem) is still a quality that employers appreciate. Plus, it gives them an idea of your time management skills and general awareness of schedules. While being late for a job interview definitely works against you (who knew common courtesy starts from having common sense?) being too early for one shows that you are unable to manage your time well. Yes, you can argue that being early shows your enthusiasm and genuine interest in the job, but try to be at the interview about 15 minutes from the scheduled start. 

Best foot forward 

There is no better way to establish a real connection with your interviewer than actually showing them how genuine you are. Be nice to everyone you meet at the interview (yes, including the receptionist). Take the effort to introduce yourself to everyone you meet, and maintain eye contact with those you encounter. While all this is easier said than done, getting your verbal and non-verbal communication on-point is super important if you want to take your job-seeking seriously. The last thing you want is to be seen as arrogant or unapproachable by employers, so be conscious of how you are projecting yourself to the people around you. Presenting the best version of yourself at all interviews is also a sure-fire way to mask your nervousness.

 Have questions ready

This point may seem a little strange. What does asking questions during the interview have anything to do with courtesy? A lot, apparently. Having a couple of questions ready for each interview may help you out more than you think. Being prepared with questions for the interviewer when it’s your turn to ask questions highlights a few things. Among others, it shows that you are really interested in the job and want to know more about the role. Secondly it is an indication of your participation in the interview, which is supposed to be a two-way communication anyway. Last but not least, it shows recruiters that you are not too nervous to make the effort to find out more about the job and company from them